|1. Due to new methods in the information and communication technology new, additional ways to produce and distribute scientific results have developed within the last years.The university as a whole, being a producer of scientific knowledge, has to take a position in the global competition.
As an organisiation where libraries, media centres, computing centres as well as the IuK<1> initiative of the Learned Societies cooperate, the German Initiative for Networked Information (DINI) herewith presents recommendations for electronic publishing at universities.
2. Universities and their scientists who are not only producers, but also main players within referee systems and consumers, can take an active and shaping role in distribution through a comprehensive university network of document and publication servers by employing a well mapped-out policy. Texts and documents that are produced at universities like dissertations, professional qualifications, research reports, pre-prints, lecture notes, and other materials known as grey literature, are rarely published by publishing houses or distributed by booksellers.These materials can now be produced at much lower costs. They can also be distributed far better, and they can be more easily indexed and devoted to their use.
3. The network of document and publication servers forms the technological core of the publication process. The university should work out a policy that defines the basis of the technological and long-term approach for how to treat these documents. Following the acquisition policy of the respective university it should be decided which kind of documents will be included into the server, and which criteria of treatment, e.g. for long-term preservation, they are subject to. The following document contains recommendations that follow international standards:
- Securing server access
- Guaranteeing authenticity and integrity of documents
- Defining the criteria for long-term preservation
- Defining the accepted document formats and their conversion tools respectively, with orientation towards long-term standards like SGML and XML
- Defining the metadata set (orientation towards Dublin Core) and its entry
- Deciding on a search engine, and thus defining retrieval options
4. Use and provision of scientific documents in digital form via the internet are an improved form of scientific communication, as compared to the conventional publication in printed form. It is necessary, however, that all the parties involved adapt their working methods to these new opportunities. This starts right with the author who can support high-quality retrieval by specifically structuring the text. From the service institutions a reform of their work routine and their responsibilities will be demanded.
A new "culture of electronic publishing" is necessary
5. Electronic publishing is still at the beginning of its development. This is why developing and widely using standards and principles is so important. With the W3C specifications of the Dublin Core Metadata Set, the Open Archives Initiative, and others, global efforts towards standardization exist. DINI supports these activities and contributes to their dissemination in Germany with its recommendations, and by organising specific events. German universities should do everything to ensure the fast implementation of these standards.
6. Within the university legal, financial, personnel, and material foundations for supporting the publication process of electronic documents have to be established.
- Legal foundations are the agreements to safeguard authors' rights as well as the recognition of electronic-only documents as professional qualifications.
- Financial and material foundations on one side are mainly influenced by
o costs for computer hard- and software,
o personnel costs for systems maintenance, and on the other hand by
o savings by rationalisation in comparison to previous publication methods, and
o revenues from sales to third parties.
- Expenditures for personnel are defined according to the used technologies. These expenditures depend on the intensity of taking care of potential authors, the degree of processing the publication up to long-term archiving, and the integration of the electronic publication process into the technological course within the library and the computing centre.
7. Within German Higher Education several different approaches for treating electronic publications have been realised. Those decisive approaches will be presented here and will be standardised in crucial points. The specifications of the Open Archives Initiative will serve as the basic orientation|